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Gale Hawthorne is Katniss Everdeen's best friend and hunting partner. In order to not cast suspicion on Katniss and Peeta Mellark's highly publicized strategic romance, Gale is presented as Katniss's cousin. He bears a resemblance to Katniss, which makes their cover believable.


Gale has three siblings: Rory, the second oldest; Vick; and the only girl, Posy. Trying to support his family after his father died in the same mine explosion that killed Katniss's father, he has to apply for tesserae multiple times. He is 18, possibly 19 in the late chapters of Catching Fire and Mockingjay. He hunts often, mostly with Katniss, that being how they met; Katniss was 12, and he 14. Katniss says that at 14, "Gale already looked like a man." It is
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later mentioned he was over six feet tall. Similar to many people from The Seam, he has olive skin, straight black hair, and gray eyes. He admits to have fallen in love with Katniss in Catching Fire, and their relationship grows in each book. He holds a hatred for The Capitol and has scars on his back from when he was whipped in Catching Fire after being caught by the new Head Peacekeeper, Romulus Thread, illegally hunting turkey for who he thought was the old Head Peacekeeper, Cray.

The Hunger GamesEdit

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Gale is first introduced in The Hunger Games when he comes to the woods and shows Katniss a loaf of bread that he got by trading a squirrel with Peeta's father. The two of them talk about the Hunger Games and the reaping while they eat the loaf of bread and goat's cheese in the woods. Gale later tells Katniss that they can run away and avoid the reaping, but they both agree that they can't leave their families alone.

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At the reaping, Gale gives Katniss a haunting smile since the odds are not in his favor. When Katniss volunteers to take Prim's place in the Hunger Games, he holds Prim back from Katniss as she makes her way to the platform. In the Justice Building, Gale enters the room and tells Katniss that she can win and gives her advice for the Games. He says she is stronger and that they just want a good show, and so she should show them how good she is. Gale advises her to make a bow if there is not one in the Cornucopia. He also says he will protect and help her family in her absence. Gale is about to say something else to her but the Peacekeepers walk in and tell him time is up so he must go.

In her absence, Gale collects herbs and hunts to gather food for Katniss' family and in return he receives some medicine from Mrs. Everdeen. Gale watches the Games on television. In the arena, Katniss realizes that it would be to her advantage to feign love for Peeta, but she feels guilty because she is confused about her feelings for Gale.

Catching FireEdit

In Catching Fire, Gale is now working at the mines to earn money to provide for his family since he is too old to be reaped in the Hunger Games. Gale is upset and jealous about the affection between Peeta and Katniss seen during the Hunger Games. Since he is working in the mines, he can no longer hunt with Katniss every day.

Later on, Katniss and Gale go into the woods and Gale surprisingly and unexpectedly kisses Katniss, which leaves her even more confused about her feelings. The kiss is reported to President Snow, who personally threatens to kill Gale if Katniss does not obey his orders to present the appearance that Katniss is madly in love with Peeta. Katniss realizes she can no longer be seen with Gale, and resolves to run away with him (and their families) to escape what she increasingly suspects will end with their deaths at the hands of President Snow.

Initially, Gale is elated, though less so when he hears Peeta will come along. Ultimately, though, he rejects the plan because he does not want to desert all their friends in District 12 and leave them to the mercy of the Capitol. Gale places his ideals above Katniss, while Peeta picks Katniss before anything else. Gale, in anger, throws the gloves Cinna made for him at her saying he doesn't want anything made from the Capitol. Gale goes hunting alone to release some of his stress and anger and is able to kill a turkey. He is caught illegally hunting and is almost whipped to death, but Katniss intervenes and puts herself in the path of the whip. Katniss receives a blow to her cheek, Peeta and Haymitch help stop the whipping while Katniss holds Gale. Later they take Gale and Katniss to her mother who is able to treat him. When Gale recovers enough to speak he talks with Katniss. Their affection for each other becomes deeper and Katniss becomes more confused but knows that she loves him. Although Katniss is supposed to be Peeta's lover in public, she is unable to forget Gale. Gale is happy and hugs Katniss and the two begin their deeper relationship. When Gale finds out about the third Quarter Quell, he is depressed that Katniss must go since she is the only living female tribute of District 12, and they're requiring the victors to go, one male, one female.

While in the woods he declares he loves her, she replies "I know" rather than returning his affections. She is then taken away for the Quarter Quell. After Katniss blew up the force field, the Capitol firebombed District 12. Gale found out and first went to evacuate his and Katniss' families and then other citizens of the district. Katniss and Gale meet up in District 13. Gale stays by her side until she awakens and he explains everything that has happened in her absence. He tells her that District 12 has been bombed and destroyed, but he managed to evacuate about 10% (less than 900 people) of the population, including their families.


In Mockingjay, Gale lives in District 13 and spends time with Beetee designing weapons to use against the Capitol. Katniss becomes uncomfortable with the brutality involved in some of Gale's weapons. He is one of the main characters and has a deeper relationship with Katniss while Peeta is a prisoner of the Capitol, but their relationship undergoes a number of strains throughout the book. When Katniss visits the remains of District 12, Gale goes along in order to protect her. On their way back to District 13 on a hovercraft, Gale comforts Katniss and reassures her everything will work out. When Peeta is interviewed with Caesar Flickerman, Gale tries to go to Katniss and help her when she leaves the room, but Boggs attempts to stop him. Gale and Katniss talk about the situation and she tells him that she'll be the mockingjay. She and Gale go hunting like they used to and the two of them enjoy their time together until he asks her why she cares for her prep team so much. Katniss tells him that they helped her a lot in the Hunger Games but he is mad about this and leaves. He and Katniss go to the weapons room where Beetee has been inventing weapons for the rebels. There, Gale is allowed to pick out a weapon and chooses a military bow and arrow.

Gale goes along with Katniss and the others to shoot propos for the rebellion. Gale and the group arrive in District 8 to film their propoganda at a hospital. While there, the Capitol attacks the hospital and Gale, along with Katniss and the others, battle the enemy. After the battle they meet at the command room in District 13 and discuss the propoganda. They decide to allow Katniss to go back in to combat and shoot more propos when she is ready. Gale goes to comfort Katniss as she heals. Gale goes back to Beetee and helps him make military weapons.

Gale and Katniss have tension between them. Gale tries to be normal around Katniss but she knows he saw the interview and tries to not talk or say anything about it. Gale tells her it was to protect her since she is too stressed, Katniss enraged tells him to stop lying to her. Gale and Katniss go to District 12 to shoot another propo. When shooting one at Katniss' house Gale asks to see his house but Cressida tells him to reenact the night of the bombing. Later Gale and Katniss kiss because they are both in pain and the only way to escape this pain is by this.

After the interview with Peeta, the entire district retreats to safe bunkers during the bombing. Gale saves Prim's life during an air raid because he went to check the Everdeen compartment to make sure it was clear and found Prim and Buttercup. The two make it to the bunker in time before the doors are closed and locked. After Katniss and Finnick break down during a propoganda shoot due to the impact of Peeta and Annie's torture, Gale is the first to volunteer for an extremely dangerous mission to rescue Peeta, Johanna, Enobaria and Annie from the Capitol. Gale safely makes it back to District 13 and receives medical attention. After Gale is healed he goes to build weapons with Beetee. Katniss is sad that he is making weapons that could hurt innocent people in the process and he tells her he is playing by the rule book Snow plays with.

Gale and Beetee go to District 2 to assist the group. Gale and Katniss's relationship grows deeper as the two spend the night comforting each other. Gale and the others go to "The Nut" where they try to think of a plan to attack in and thus take control of District 2. Gale conceives a plan that involves blowing up the inside of The Nut, which upsets Katniss because it would kill innocent people. After some arguments with Katniss, they decide to bomb The Nut but leave the train station open so the people inside The Nut can escape. Gale visits Katniss in the hospital when she awakens and the two argue about what has happened. Gale informs her of District 2 siding with the rebels. Later Gale along with Beetee meet with Katniss, Johanna, Delly, Finnick, Annie and later Peeta at lunch. Gale tells Peeta he has changed and Johanna agrees with him. Gale takes Katniss aside and tells her Peeta has changed and isn't seeing her for who she truly is.

He is part of the "Star Squad" that sets out to assassinate President Snow, though he gets separated from Katniss. Before Katniss goes to guard Peeta, Gale pulls Katniss away and asks her about her plan to head out on her own, and Katniss says he should go with her. Gale helps the team take cover in an apartment and they witness a broadcast that shows footage of the squad members' supposed deaths. Gale tries to calm Peeta down and promises he will kill Peeta if it came down to it. The squad travels underground in the tunnels and later are attacked by lizard mutts that hiss Katniss' name. Gale and the squad are able to make it out of the tunnel but have lost Finnick, Jackson, and a few others to the mutts. The squad splits up, Gale follows Katniss. The two of them battle off peacekeepers and head to President Snow's mansion. After almost dying from a trap activated by a pod, Gale is taken away by peacekeepers. His last words before being taken away were for her to go.

Afterward, Katniss' sister is killed in a method akin to one he devised. Gale visits her before Snow's death and gives her a sheath with one arrow to shoot at Snow. Katniss asks if it was his bomb that killed Prim. Gale isn't sure and tells her to shoot straight at Snow before he leaves. While Katniss can never be sure that it was Gale's weapons that did it, their relationship is torn apart, as she is unable look at him the same way again. He is later said to have taken "a fancy job" in District 2, in which Katniss is relieved to hear.


Katniss EverdeenEdit



With similar physical characteristics, Gale and Katniss could easily pass as siblings, as could many other children from The Seam. In The Hunger Games, it is said that Gale is the person who knows Katniss best, even though their acquaintance started only four years prior to The Hunger Games.

The two met each other formally at the ceremony following their fathers' deaths. Both were awarded Medals of Valor for being the eldest children of the deceased coal miners. Later that year, they met again out in the forbidden woods beyond District 12's fence. Both had been going to the woods for some time, being as the woods were their families' main source of food. Gale was fourteen at the time, and Katniss was twelve. When Gale asked her what her name was, she replied in a whisper, making him believe that she said "Catnip" at first, then a wild lynx chased them through the woods; Gale had called her Catnip ever since.

Their relationship grew from a mild trust to becoming something a little more than best friends. In Catching Fire, Gale proved this when he appeared extremely jealous in regards to Katniss' pretend romance with Peeta Mellark, and suddenly and unexpectedly kissed Katniss on the outskirts of the woods. This was reported to President Snow, who later used this information to manipulate Katniss. When Katniss later proposed that they run away together, Gale managed an "I love you" but Katniss only replied "I know," and Gale was furious when she intended to include Peeta and Haymitch Abernathy in their plans. While Gale is clearly in love with Katniss, she remains conflicted by her feelings for both Gale and Peeta, as well as her own sense of unyielding independence, until the end of Mockingjay when she realizes she loves Peeta.

At the end of Catching Fire, Katniss notes that Gale would never keep secrets from her, right before he informs her that District 12 has been destroyed. However, this implicit trust is challenged as Gale withholds information from Katniss in Mockingjay. Even though these lies by omission are due to concern for her mental wellbeing, Katniss feels betrayed.

In Mockingjay, Katniss and Gale's relationship continues to become more romantic but also more complex. The relative simplicity of hunting/gathering to stave off starvation is replaced with something not so straight forward: war. Even as they work together to overthrowing the Capitol a chasm seems to grow as their ideals and morals clash. Gale's win at all costs mentality, which was evident before in his words, are actually being put into practice. Whereas Katniss is still clinging to the hope of winning the war with limited casualties and some sense of morality, as Peeta would have done. In the end, it is Gale's contempt for applying ethics to his ideas that truly severs any relationship they had or could ever have. Primrose, Katniss's sister, is killed by a specific type of firebomb that may have been designed by Gale. Even though the order to use the bombs was given by President Coin, both Gale and Katniss know there's no going back for them after that.

Katniss returns to District 12, whereas Gale lives in District 2, working for the military.

Peeta MellarkEdit

In Catching Fire, Peeta knew Katniss had feelings for him and fully accepted that he would allow Katniss to be with Gale if it meant her happiness. When Gale was being whipped, Peeta tried to help him and protect Katniss. Gale stated that he tried to hate Peeta but it was just too hard because Peeta is too nice .

In the arena Peeta gave Katniss a locket with a picture of Gale smiling; Peeta wanted her to be with him so she could be happy.

In Mockingjay, Gale volunteered first to be on the squad to break into the Capitol and retrieve Peeta from prison. It is unknown whether he did this for Katniss or because of genuine concern for Peeta.

Also in Mockingjay, Katniss wakes to a hushed conversation between a beaten-up Gale and a hijacked Peeta. They speak like friends, and talk about her, and Gale says that the one that she will be with is the one who she can't survive without.


In The Hunger Games, Gale was not yet working in the coal mines, and was mainly supporting his family through tesserae and the money and meat he made from poaching. By Catching Fire, Gale had turned nineteen and was working in the coal mines. This gave a little more money, but left him less time to hunt. He still made time to hunt on Sundays with Katniss. This job took the place of the tesserae, but did not help his family in finances.

His poaching was stopped in Catching Fire, after Katniss and Gale got into a heated argument. Gale was caught with a fresh turkey when he went to sell it at the Head Peacekeeper, Cray's, home. Unknown to Gale and the rest of the community, Cray had been replaced by another cruel Head Peacekeeper, Thread. Gale was forced to admit his guilt and was then whipped horribly. Peeta was with Katniss when the two witnessed Gale's whipping. Peeta had told Katniss to leave when he saw the scene, knowing full well that Katniss would try to stop Thread but even with his warning, Katniss rushed to Gale's aid, getting lashed in the face herself in the process. Peeta and Haymitch had to step in before Thread could hurt Katniss more. The whipping was soon brought to an end and Gale was rushed to Katniss' mother for medical treatment. Katniss was by Gale's side during the treatment and kissed him, which brought Gale back to consciousness. Katniss then decides that Gale is the one she will love. Both Katniss and Gale had to stop their treks into the woods when the new Peacekeeper decides, just to be safe, to run constant electricity through the fence that surrounds the woods so that no one can get in or out.

At the beginning of Mockingjay, he works particularly closely with Beetee, designing weaponry for District 13, and later goes in as a soldier on the ground to assassinate President Snow. Gale eventually moves to District 2, where he currently lives and continues working for the military.


Gale enjoys a good laugh when he is with his best friend, Katniss. He can be quick to anger, and often it is Katniss
who keeps it under control. He became angry when Madge Undersee said she wanted to look her best if she gets reaped. He became angry because she is more wealthy then most people in District 12 and doesn't have to face what he and everyone else must. His hatred for The Capitol boldly shines. He will rant about the Capitol and District 12 and everything he can think of out in the woods, where he thinks no one can hear him. Gale saw what others could not; he saw that the Capitol was wrong and that rebellion was necessary from the beginning. He is brave and willing to fight for what he believes and for Katniss' love. He is willing to do anything to protect his family and the girl he loves.

Gale is an idealist, trying to believe the world can change for the better. This is proven by his commitment to the rebellion, such as when he said that he was willing to sacrifice his life if it could kill more enemies. Gale is willing to fighting for what he believes in; no matter how strong the opponent may seem, no matter how discouraged the people around him are, he will fight to the death to make sure that his cause is changed for the better. His devotion and passion is one of the things that kept Katniss' flames alit.


Gale is an expert at snares and strategy. He has known about snares since the first time he went into the woods. He has been able to catch many animals in his snares, which has been helpful for him and his family. Gale taught Katniss about basic snares, which came in handy during the Hunger Games. Later, he is able to transfer his skill in snares into a skill in designing military weapons and tactics.

Gale is also able to use a bow and arrow, though he is not as accurate or fast as Katniss. He is able to shoot from a certain distance and it takes him a little longer to shoot, but he is proficient enough to hunt and defend himself. He is able to kill animals with his skill.


Gale looks out for his three siblings, Rory, Vick, and Posy, and his mother, Hazelle, by himself. His father died in the same mine accident as Katniss' father did. Gale originally supported his family by illegally hunting and applying for extra tesserae (a small supply of grain and oil). As of Catching Fire, when he is too old for the Games, he works in the same mines as his father used to, twelve hours a day.

Even though Katniss wants to help him, he refuses every coin and help she offers, excluding the meat she brings over. Katniss and her family are just like family to him, as they look out for each other and share many things in common. At the end of Catching Fire, Gale saves Prim, Mrs. Everdeen, and about nine hundred other District 12 citizens when the Capitol bombs their home.

Physical appearance Edit

Just like Katniss and most people from the Seam, Gale shares Katniss' dark hair, olive skin, and grey eyes and is said to be over six feet tall by Katniss because when they met in the woods when he was only 14, she stated he was already that height. They look so alike that people believe them to be cousins in Catching Fire. In Catching Fire, it is explained in further detail that, when the Capitol sent out interviewers, most people lead them to Gale. The Capitol's interviewer reached the Seam, where most or all people look similar, and "so some genius made him Katniss' cousin." Muscular and good looking, girls flock to him— though he seems to have eyes for Katniss alone (although it is mentioned before he fell in love with Katniss, he had kissed quite a lot of girls.) She describes Gale as a boy who could have any girl he wanted, because of the way girls whisper about him. Johanna called him "gorgeous" and Katniss' prep team said, not everyone was born with camera-ready faces, with Gale as an exception. His good looks are mentioned throughout the series. She also describes him as smelling like apples, sometimes alder smoke and his skin smells like oranges.

Film portrayal Edit

On April 4, 2011, Lionsgate confirmed that Liam Hemsworth will play Gale in the film adaptation of The Hunger Games.


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